Square kind of goofed up when they didn’t create any sort of archive for Final Fantasy 7. After the game was in the can, all development work was destroyed, so the static backgrounds — despite costing millions to render altogether — only exist now in 640 x 480 resolution.
This means Square can never truly sell an “HD” remake of the most famous Final Fantasy title. UNLESS they get as clever as PC modder CaptRobau, who used state-of-the-art AI neural networks to scan and enhance the original background art. The result blows our minds.
You’ve seen “upscaled” HD drawings and pictures, correct? They never look quite right. They’re still fuzzy enough that their inferior origin is obvious. That’s not the case here. This is nothing less than the “Enhance” command from CBS procedurals brought to reality. It’s that good.
(TRIGGER WARNING: this trailer uses the “sad” Aerith theme)
You can play the entire game like this, but only on the PC version, because only the PC allows mods. Download the “FF7 Remako” mod by going to this link. This game is scheduled to appear on Switch later this year. It’s a real pity it won’t look as good as it does in the mod.
The pre-rendered movie cutscenes, alas, are still fuzzy…but a 720p version does exist at least. Square issued out a rare DVD with the cutscenes on them back when the game came out in Japan. Watch them all here. They’re still 15fps, but better than they looked on the PS1.